Research shows most Australians will be traveling in the next two years, but the pandemic has changed the way we plan our holidays. Here’s what you need to know.
According to new research, 92% of Australians are expected to travel in the next two years, but three in four holidaymakers will be more worried about their health and safety than before the pandemic.
The YouGov research, which was commissioned by Southern Cross Travel Insurance in March, involved a survey of more than 1,000 adults and found appetite for travel was strong following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
But the results indicate that post-pandemic fears are shaping travel decisions, including destinations and accommodation choices, vacation activities and travel insurance.
Southern Cross Travel Insurance chief executive Jo McCauley said the pandemic has impacted the way people plan vacations.
“It made us more aware than ever of things that could potentially go wrong during our travels and the importance of planning for these unforeseen circumstances as much as possible,” she said.
“Before the pandemic, travel insurance was something some of our customers bought at the last minute with limited understanding of what they were and weren’t covered for.
“We are now seeing that Australian travelers are much more engaged with their travel insurance policy and as a result we are seeing an increase in inquiries to our contact centre.
“Clients (are asking us) much more detailed and hypothetical questions about what would and would not be covered in certain situations.”
Main research results:
● 92% of Australians plan to travel within Australia or abroad in the next two years;
● 75% of these travelers are more concerned about health and safety;
● 89% say that a destination’s Covid-19 record will have an impact on their decision to go there;
● 80% consider travel insurance a high priority for international travel, while 65% consider domestic travel insurance a high priority; and
● 36% of people aged 18-24 do not consider travel insurance a high priority for international travel.
The research found that prolonged Covid-19 restrictions had influenced the type of holiday people wanted, with nature and being away from big cities becoming a priority.
Survey results also showed that hostel-style accommodation was less appealing, with more travelers now considering general cleanliness and Covid safety practices when choosing accommodation.
More and more people are also looking at cancellation policies.
The research also revealed generational differences, with adults aged 18-24 showing a more relaxed approach to travel than older people.
“What is slightly concerning is that the data indicates that this age group may not be taking the same precautions as older generations when planning vacations, putting them at greater risk. harm or costly mistakes here and abroad,” McCauley said. mentioned.
“Regardless of age and health, we always recommend that travelers take out travel insurance.
“You never know what might happen, and it’s better to be prepared than to have regrets and a huge bill to pay.”
Flight Center Travel Group’s global leisure managing director, James Kavanagh, told NCA NewsWire that there has been a strong recovery nationwide since the lifting of border restrictions, both domestically and internationally.
“Generally speaking, people are very keen to reconnect, whether it’s with friends and family, or for business, or to make the most of their vacation,” he said.
“We sometimes queued outside some of our stores.”
Mr Kavanagh said there had been an initial wave of leisure travel, with people visiting friends and relatives.
“Many took off as soon as they could,” he said.
“There is also a good base of future vacation bookings, especially for cruises – people have booked through to next year.”
Popular destinations so far include India and the Philippines as well as the UK, Europe, America, Fiji, New Zealand and Bali.
“We expect further recovery as people get used to traveling in the post-pandemic world,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“It’s a bit more complex right now than before Covid and we’re seeing people coming into our stores who haven’t traditionally booked with an agent.”
Mr Kavanagh said flight capacity was also holding back the recovery.
“We need more seats on international routes and we expect that to happen over the next few months,” he said.
The Australian government recommends that people be fully vaccinated against the virus and travel with proof of vaccination status.
Unvaccinated Australians are strongly advised against traveling overseas due to health risks.
People are advised to check the Smart Traveler website for destination advice.
“The level of advice at your destination can affect whether you can get insurance and what’s covered,” the website says.
Travelers are also urged to know what would happen if they tested positive overseas, including the financial implications.
Some insurance policies only cover medical and repatriation costs if you contract the virus abroad, while others offer limited coverage for cancellation costs.
It should also be noted that some insurers only cover cancellation if you test positive and the policy was taken out more than 21 days before your departure date.
Most of the Covid-19 claims received by SCTI from January 1 to April 7 were for medical care and trip disruptions that occurred when customers contracted the virus while on vacation.
The average amount of claims paid was $2,775.
Top 10 travel destination bookings since February:
- Los Angeles
Source: Fight Center